Jennifer Gill, superintendent of Springfield Public Schools District 186, has been named the 2019 Superintendent of Distinction by her colleagues in the Abe Lincoln Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA).
Gill was honored at an awards luncheon May 9 in Springfield. State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala was the featured speaker, where 21 IASA regional Superintendents of Distinction were recognized.
“I am honored to serve District 186 and IASA’s Abe Lincoln Region,” said Gill, who has been an educator for 27 years, including the last five as Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools District 186. “I feel lucky to do this work every day and to be recognized by my peers for a job I love is humbling. I continue to learn from other superintendents from across the region and appreciate the way we support one another.”
Those nominating Gill noted a number of successes during her tenure including:
- Led the district through the first voter‐approved increase for school funding in 34 years, with the passage of the 1 percent county‐wide sales tax increase in 2018.
- Partnered with Equal Opportunity Schools to focus on equity and increased enrollment in Advanced Placement courses across the district’s three high schools. In addition, secured funding through the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln to help students pay for AP tests.
- Led the district on a new mission and strategic plan that aligns district and school improvement plans, as well as communicates strategic goals.
- Collaboratively developed a partnership with Memorial Health System to provide wellness supports for employees, priority service and chronic disease management, as well as a $0 co‐pay structure that encourages employees to take care of health concerns and helps them save on out‐of‐pocket expenses.
- Presented a balanced budget each year as superintendent and restored a healthy fund balance in cash reserves.
- Ushered in new reading, writing, science, math and social science curricula across various grade levels.
“Each Superintendent of Distinction was nominated by peers in their regions based on their commitment, dedication and leadership,” said IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark. “These extraordinary individuals truly provide exceptional leadership that elevates the success of students in their districts and are difference makers in their communities.”
The fifth annual luncheon was again sponsored by Horace Mann, one of the nation’s largest insurers focusing on the needs of educators.
“We are proud to recognize these Superintendents of Distinction who are creative, dedicated, inspiring, and consistently create strong learning environments in their districts,” said Marita Zuraitis, Horace Mann President and Chief Executive Officer.
Gill and her husband, Robin, have two children.
The Abe Lincoln Region is comprised of Sangamon, Menard, Logan, De Witt, Macon, Christian, Shelby, Moultrie and Piatt counties.